Breaking: Barry Zito Pitches Shutout, Hell Freezes Over
We have confirmed reports right now that every level of hell is indeed freezing over. This is of course pushing hellfolk refugees riding on the back of Cthuhlu to the surface world where they have been quoted as hoping to “bring a new age of darkness to Earth.” All this took place after an event which many apocalypse theorists claim is the “harbringer of doom to the world as we know it.” This monumental moment in human history and first sign of the fall of humanity was Barry Zito pitching his first shutout in nine years at the worst pitcher’s park in baseball.
Tim Lincecum, Madison Bumgarner, and Matt Cain each were shelled in their respective turns in the rotation. Coming into today, the Giants were entering a perfect storm of losing. During Spring Training, scouts were saying that it looked like Barry Zito was throwing batting practice. Buster Posey and Brandon Belt were getting today off. Aubrey Huff was batting cleanup. So naturally, this was the game where the Giants scored seven runs, Brandon Crawford was the offensive catalyst, and Barry Zito went the distance.
All hyperbole aside though, it’s been a weird start to the season. Only one other left-handed pitcher has thrown a shutout at Coors Field, and that lefty was Tom Glavine. A Giants offense that was supposed to struggle has scored four or more runs in every game against some pretty decent pitching. Bruce Bochy has promised to give Brandon Belt a fair shake at first base. Everyone not named Zito on our much-lauded pitching staff has been shelled back to the stone age. And of course this has led to mass hysteria across Giantsfanland, as we are all slaves to the god of the small sample size in the first week of the season.
But the first part of the season is always a little weird. Last season the Orioles started the season 6-1. Through 14 games the Royals were 10-4. Hell, the Mariners were in contention in June until they lost 17 games in a row. So why do we react this way every year like clockwork? If the Orioles went 6-1 over a seven game period in say, August, no one would bat an eyelash. Seven games doesn’t seem like much when you have five months of season to base it on. But when those seven games happen in the first week of the season, it’s all we have to panic about. And as Giants fans, we’re especially skilled at things like panicking.
This is also half the fun of the beginning of the season though. We’re all still high off of our first exposure to baseball in six months and are prone to making vast generalizations. When your team starts off 0-3, you can remind yourself that there’s plenty of baseball left to play while you rock back and forth in the corner hugging your knees. The simple fact is that the first week of the season is both exhilarating and horrifying in too many ways. All we can do is sit back and ride out the storm until September, when things are totally less stressful; Braves, Red Sox, Cardinals, and Rays fans can attest to that.
UPDATE: And as an added bonus, via Bay City Ball I present to you the worst swing in the history of the world that concluded an improbable 11-pitch at-bat by Barry Zito: